Manuel Madrid

Manuel Madrid is a writing fellow at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

A Bad Week for Paul Manafort and School Scammers -- But a Great Year for White-Collar Crime

Under Trump, prosecutions for white-collar crimes have reached an all-time low, while prosecutions for being an undocumented immigrant have soared.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon Paul Manafort leaves Federal District Court in Washington. trickle-downers_35.jpg G oing strictly by recent headlines, one could be forgiven for thinking it’s a bad time to be a white-collar criminal in America. Last week, former Trump campaign manager and grifter extraordinaire Paul Manafort was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for financial and fraud convictions; the very next day, Justice Department prosecutors charged at least 50 people involved in a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme to get unqualified children into elite universities. Justice served, right? Not exactly. The unfortunate truth is that white-collar crime has always been relatively low-risk, high-reward in the United States—and under the Trump administration it’s become an even better racket. Grifting has entered a new golden age. A new case-by-case analysis of Justice Department data shows that white-collar crime prosecutions have dropped to an all-time low this year. The government...

Will Immigrants Find Themselves in the Driver’s Seat?

Trump’s ICE crackdown is increasing support for access to driver’s licenses.

AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka, File Reyna Lopez of the immigrant rights group Causa explains the campaign behind the driver's license measure in Portland, Oregon. This article is a preview of the Spring 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_4.28.52_pm.png A decades-old political debate over whether undocumented people should be allowed to drive has gained new relevance under the Trump administration, as state legislators and advocates work to push back against increased immigration enforcement by the federal government. Democrats in New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Oregon have introduced legislation that would grant residents the ability to obtain driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status (a similar bill was put forward in Virginia, but failed). Licenses granted to immigrants under these proposals would be reserved for driving and would not be compliant with the Real ID Act, the federal standard...

Trump to Puerto Ricans: Go Hungry

The administration opposes extending food stamp funding for the islanders. 

AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa A man carries food and other staples donated from from the MARC Ministry, a nonprofit charity in Manati, Puerto Rico. trickle-downers_35.jpg T he clock ticks for Puerto Rico’s poor since the Trump administration has announced it won’t support supplemental funding for the storm-ravaged island’s food stamps program. Emergency food aid for an estimated 1.4 million Puerto Ricans will dry up at the start of March if a $600 million appropriation isn’t approved by Congress and the White House. Without the additional funding, about 1.3 million U.S. citizens will face a steep drop in food assistance. Roughly 100,000 will be kicked off program entirely, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Attempts by congressional Democrats to secure the emergency funding have been blocked by a White House hell bent on building a border wall. The compromise spending bill signed by Trump last week will keep the government open, but does not...

21 Savage and the 50,000 ICE Detainees

The Atlanta-based rapper’s untimely run-in with immigration enforcement agents offers a window into the world of the tens of thousands of immigrants currently locked in ICE jails. 

imageSPACE/MediaPunch/IPX via AP 21 Savage in Santa Monica, California R apper 21 Savage could not be counted among the throng of artists and celebrities looking on from the audience at Sunday’s Grammy awards in Los Angeles. Nor was he watching from home. Instead, the Atlanta-based artist, real name She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, spent the day locked up in an immigrant detention center in Georgia. His eighth day, to be exact. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took 21 Savage into custody on February 3 and subsequently placed him into deportation proceedings. The federal agency alleges that Abraham-Joseph, a citizen of the United Kingdom, is guilty of overstaying his visa and has a felony drug conviction on his record. The musician’s legal representatives contested that account, arguing that Abraham-Joseph has no prior criminal convictions and that his overstay was through no fault of his own. Inside a closed hearing on Tuesday in Atlanta, Immigration Judge J. Dan Pelletier decided...

Trump Is Tough on Venezuela -- but Won’t Let Fleeing Venezuelans Into the U.S.

Millions of Venezuelans have fled their country, but Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-refugee stance has closed America’s door to them.

Geraldo Caso/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images A woman from Venezuela sits next to suitcases and bags in front of the entrance gate of the Venezuelan Embassy in Lima, Peru. T hough they heard President Trump condemn the brutality of the Venezuelan government in his State of the Union speech last week, Venezuelans around the world are in for some disappointment if they expect a warm welcome from his administration. Once one of Latin America’s most prosperous and stable nations, Venezuela has been reduced to a pit of human suffering. The country’s ongoing economic crisis has led to a collapse of its healthcare and school systems, widespread food shortages, and an epidemic of violence that’s given Venezuela one of world’s highest murder rates. Millions of Venezuelans have fled the the authoritarian government of President Nicolás Maduro, with millions more projected to do so in the coming months. You can’t blame Venezuelans for being confused about United States policy, however. Under Trump...

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